"Designs with History" was our passion from the beginning... in the year 2000. We started as a home based business creating Aboriginal jewelry and moccasins, travelling to many, many pow-wows and conferences to market our goods.
In 2003, we purchased an embroidery machine to be able to put our Aboriginal artwork onto clothing. Well, when people in the Creston Valley found out that we had a commercial embroidery machine, they started to stop by our home unexpectedly to order embroidery for their businesses (Yes!...we were the first ones to have an embroidery machine in town). So, I told my husband that he would have to build us a building for the embroidery business or we would have to start turning people away. Unfortunately, it was too complicated to confirm the embroidery details at restaurants where we were meeting our customers... needing to show garments samples, embroidery thread colors, etc.
And so, the journey to our building began. It was very difficult to arrange financing for the building as the building could not be used as collateral for the mortgage as it was on Lower Kootenay Reserve in Canada and governed by the "Indian Act" which meant that if the mortgage was defaulted on, the bank could not take the building or land.
We worked with Kootenay Aboriginal Business Advocates to achieve our dream. We met with several possible funding agencies and heard 'no'. Our contact at KABAS, Don R., had an idea for us to purchase another larger embroidery machine and use that as collateral for the building. It worked! It was quite an event on the Reserve to see the building go up.
We built to an existing roof on the property... a very basic simple building. Because the existing roof was so large, we ended up with a beautiful home for many of our dreams. Upon receiving the good news on our financing, we decided to create space within our building for the Yaqan Nuki Heritage Centre which is a place where local people can share their history and traditional teachings. The YN Heritage Centre is owned by the people and acts as an incubator for learning... we have had several summer students who helped create exhibits and document traditional knowledge for the Centre.
Today, my husband is retired and I work within Legend Logos. We have a few lovely staff members that help us out. My husband works pretty hard for me, LOL! He insists on doing all the freight and snow plowing! We have created this website to bring our specialty items to a larger audience... helping bring you 'Designs with History'!